Abstinence

That torrid love affair is over, they said, rude noises and all, neither party hungry for more, neither man nor woman still aching, no moonlit window eyed in weary insomnia, the pane caressed, and its reflective face pressed, cold and flat, by hot cheeks, somnolent kisses that almost brush the night’s. Gone, all gone, are the endless weekdays of tedium that ended like the cap blown in a toy pistol, a cork popped on an emerald bottle of champagne and began too quickly the finite weeknights when hands met hands again, life met life again, clothes shed and dinner hurried down to meld the soft bodies that ate them into one after meal course. Finished are the mid-summer days without work, the farm hot fields without toil, the errands that were never run, because the sun was too inviting, and the mornings stretched into the world’s curved horizon. Curling down like acid lemon dew drops that burned the tongues that bit them, that sun’s blots on the now cold window pane melted the ambitions of the lips that gave them suck, the air spinning, salt sprays like sea-borne breezes easing from the hallways and from behind closed doors until the rooms within were primordial spas. Sweat and seething sighs crashed thereabout, an apartment turned into a beachhead, in wave after wave, high tide, low tide.

That is all gone, they said. The apartment is abandoned, like a sunken city made of soft sand. The smell is nothing like a seascape, her inner walls privy to no more rolling waves that smash the shore; instead it smells like its abstinence: not so empty, not spic and span as a fresh home ought to be, or new car void of all scents that arrive with their new inhabitants; it smells haunted by hot hands that twist, wet mouths that squeeze, dark shoulders and pale knees. The hair in its corner is not without a certain salacious curlicue.

It smells ripely abandoned, not forgotten. It smells like the place where hearts were opened and then left to puddle like rude lollipops on the bare floor. Without coasters to soak up the sticky residue. It smells like such impatient mistakes, frivolous and sweet, with no ending, and no mending.

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